I And Mine: [03.11] - 8 Brief Rules of Group Spiritual Practice - 3. Abandonment or Extension of 'Mineness'

Published: 23.12.2005
Updated: 06.08.2008
Abandonment of 'mineness' results in its extension and extension of 'mineness' results in its abandonment. Though two different words, they do not have different meanings. Self-conceit and 'mineness' are the commanders of the military array of worldly attachment or delusion. The war strategy of worldly attachment is extremely impenetrable.

'Mineness' means imposing kinship on the non-kin. It is reflected in expressions like 'my house', 'my family', 'my body', etc. the closest thing is the body. Treating the body and external things as one's own is 'mineness'. It is the cause of mental unrest. Meeting the person one is deeply attached to gives us joy and departing from him/her causes grief. More unhappiness is caused if one's own son turns out to be disobedient. If it is someone else's son that does not make us much unhappy simply because he is not our own. It is 'mineness' that divides people from one another.

The feeling of 'mineness' is followed by its abandonment. One does not become free from 'mineness' merely by intoning 'This is not mime.' We have come to recognize certain people as our own. Consequently, we love those who are ours and hate those who are not ours. We do not hesitate to deceive those who are not ours in order to protect those who are ours. Injustice and exploitation are being nursed by this discrimination on the basis of 'this is mine' and 'this is not mine.' The process of abandonment is itself the process of extension. Give up this feeling that 'that is mine' and treat everyone as yours. Within the narrow bonds of 'mineness' the dualism of ours and theirs remains. Therefore, it creates possibilities of benefiting oneself and harming others. By extending the boundaries of 'mineness' the dualism of 'self and 'the other' disappears. As such in it the question of benefiting one and harming another does not arise at all.

The word Akinchanya means 'nothing'. Nothing is mine, that is, everything is mine. Someone asked Acharya Shree, "Where are your headquarters?' Acharya Shree replied, 'Nowhere, which means everywhere. Wherever we go, that place becomes our headquarters. If it had been at one place, that would be its only location; it could not be located everywhere.' The day it dawns on me that nothing is mine, the entire wealth of the three worlds will come to belong to me. It has been rightly said:

Let us now talk of practical things. Communism is the process of abandoning or eliminating 'mineness' Theoretically communism is not bad. But the way it is being implemented is not to my liking. Since his birth a man is regarded as the property of the state. Wealth and property too cannot be individually owned. Even one's body is not one's own. This is all according to the will of the government. There is no willingness in it but only force. Abandonment of 'mineness' can be a willing process if it is religious. The basic maxim of religion is Bhed Vigyan (science of differentiation).

Bhed Vigyan means accepting the separate existence of the body and the soul. This alone is right faith. It has been called Vivek Khyati in the Sankhya philosophy. If the body is governed by an egotistic intellect, it is impossible to have right faith despite vast knowledge. Indian religions have always emphasized the importance of the abandonment of 'mineness.' What we should do is to give it experimental sanction. It will be desirable to concentrate on the entire set of sense, language and the situation or context. Look at the language of the sadhus. They say, 'This thing is in my protection.' To say 'it is mine' will invite penitence.


The word Nishray meaning protection can be used in place of trusteeship. Gandhiji was finding it difficult to find its Hindu equivalent.

Muni Shree:

Bhikshu Swamy and Jayacharya gave a practical shape to the abandonment of 'mineness' among the community of sadhus. It is a major achievement of Tera Panth. After the rainy season groups of sadhu (monks) and sadhvis (nuns) come to pay respects to the Acharya. They begin by saying: 'These co-working sadhus and sadhvis, books and I surrender ourselves for your service. We are ready to stay wherever you want.' They accept food and water only after this complete surrender.

Peace and self-awakening follow the completion of the process of the abandonment of 'mineness.' People boil milk, curdle it and then churn it. Why do they do so? To get butter out of it. Similarly, I keep saying all our efforts are aimed at getting peace and happiness.

The Gita says (How can a disturbed man get happiness?).

In the opinion of one of the Acharyas all scriptures were written with a view to obtaining peace:

The donkey carrying sandalwood on its back merely suffers its burden; it does not at all enjoy its fragrance. Likewise, one who always swears by the scriptures simply carries their burden and is unable to experience their spiritual fragrance. It is experienced only by a person whose mind is raptured by peace.

Some five or six years ago a dear person came to me. He asked: 'Whom do you regard guru? ' I said: 'Myself. Who regards another as guru? 'Do you not regard Acharya Tulsi your guru? ' he said. I replied, ‘I regard him so precisely because I do not see his self different from myself.' The guru and the disciple are united only when their selves are identical. Kabir says:

'When I was there, the guru was not there and now the guru is there and I am not there. If the 'mineness' is extended/expanded, the whole world becomes one's own. Then there remains no room for speaking ill of others. Love is so intensely pervasive that it leaves no room whatsoever for anything that may counter it. When 'mineness' is extended/expanded to such an extent, the narrow and limited 'mineness' automatically gets eliminated. Extending 'mineness' is a positive concept while abandoning 'mineness' is a negative concept. But the intended meaning of both is the same. First comes right faith and then is born reverence for it. The consciousness get lost in that for whom reverence is created:

Abandoning 'mineness' is a good thing, but it is only the first step. Such an unambiguous experience creates reverential faith. Knowledge is fluid. Its intensified and condensed form is faith. Water is fluid and ice is its condensed form. Milk is fluid and khoya (milk thickened and dehydrated by boiling) is its condensed form. Similarly, knowledge through progressive reinforcement turns into faith.


Knowledge is gained through the intellect and faith through the innermost recesses of heart.

Ram Kumar:

How can one develop faith?

Muni Shree:

Once it is known the khoya is formed from milk, one has to spend time in boiling and thickening it. In the same way once the process of the abandonment of 'mineness' is known, it has to be practised over a period of time.


Is public life not hampered by the abandonment of ‘mineness'?

Muni Shree:

Not only will there be no hampering, but it will become healthier. Hindrance is caused when something gets abandoned, not when one abandons something.
Once some refugees came to Acharya Shree and said: 'We have lost everything.' Acharya Shree said: 'You have no wealth, nor do we. You have no house, nor do we. You have been separated from your families; we too are away from our families. You and we are in the same state, but our experiences differ. The reason is that in your case you have been deprived of those things; whereas we have abandoned them on our own.'

Phool Kumari:

If 'mineness' is extended while remaining in the family, will it not result in bitterness?


(clarifying the above question): It is an important question. Let us take a member of the family. He wants to extend his 'mineness' he progressively keeps extending his 'mineness' to people increasingly distant from his kith and kin. It causes problems in the family. Once the point came up that it is necessary to become Supreme from being an individual. But how can it happen since the Supreme is infinite? One does not have to become Supreme; if the individual self is extirpated, all its boundaries are destroyed. It becomes Supreme till infinity. A spoonful of sugar dropped into a glass of milk will permeate the whole glass not in its one-eighth part. The process of extension is not partial and quantitative, but qualitative. Let us think that there is an amount of Rs. 50,000/-. Twenty people are born of the same parents and another twenty belong to the family. Those among them who felt like abandoning their 'mineness' reduced their accumulations. It is possible by giving up accumulations.

Muni Shree:

If the abandonment of 'mineness' assumes the character of charity, bitterness can accrue. But no bitterness can be there if its character is one of sacrifice. There is a big difference between charity and sacrifice. The self is mixed with charity whereas sacrifice is free from it. Fear and worry connected with 'mineness' turn into fearlessness and ‘carefreeness' once they are severed from 'mineness.' This is an unfailing formula for mental peace.

  • I And Mine by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Edited by Muni Dulahraj ji
  • Translated by R.P. Bhatnagar, formerly Prof. Dept. of English at Jaipur University
  • Published by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun, India, 1st Edition, 1995

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Tulsi
  3. Acharyas
  4. Bhed Vigyan
  5. Bhikshu
  6. Body
  7. Consciousness
  8. Fear
  9. Fearlessness
  10. Gandhiji
  11. Gita
  12. Guru
  13. Jayacharya
  14. Muni
  15. Ram
  16. Sadhu
  17. Sadhus
  18. Sadhvis
  19. Sankhya
  20. Science
  21. Soul
  22. Tulsi
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